Satan (Dinamic) Review | ST Format - Everygamegoing

ST Format


Satan
By Dinamic
Atari ST

 
Published in ST Format #15

Satan

Mention publishing house Dinamic and any games freak instantly knows what type of game they're (in)famous for. After plenty of practice and plenty of false starts, their impressive achievements with AMC suggested they were on course to produce some of the best trigger action we've seen for ages. Satan is the latest in their inexhaustible supply of shoot-'em-ups.

It's set in the murky depths of Hell and the objective is to seek out nasty old Lucifer himself. This is an excuse for stringing together a series of scrolling levels which give impressive scope for exciting visuals and aliens.

Instead of being just another straight horizontally-scrolling jaunt, Satan's claim to fame is that it enables you to retrace your steps and climb up or down to reach new platforms. Part of the challenge comes in discovering a route through the level. This involves leaping onto pillars, scaling them to reach the top and then working your way round obstacles.

The problems confronting you comprise handfuls of ugly aliens who require several shots before they can be killed, and masses of falling masonry. Your firepower initially consists of a single slow shot which can be speeded up by finding bonus pods.

Like Army Moves and Navy Moves, Satan is split into two levels which are essentially separate games. To reach level two just must complete level one and find the access code.

Effects

The visuals and sound effects are remarkably unremarkable. The main character sprite is tiny, backdrops are dull and bad guys are a joke. Not only are many of them small, but they just don't look threatening enough to warrant wasting your firepower. You meet the odd gargoyle and dragon, who look more scary, but they aren't animated well enough to keep you interested.

Sound is restricted to basic effects which ring out when you fire weapons, pick up bonus pods or move onto a new level.

Verdict

If you're looking for a good shoot-'em-up, look somewhere else. Two months ago Dinamic released AMC and it looked as if they were making strides towards coming up with a new breed of superior shoot-'em-ups. There was nothing particularly original about the game itself, but it boasted some wonderful graphics, hosts of extra weaponry and superb sound effects. Now they've slid back into tedious, repetitive bunkum. Unexciting visuals and wimpy sprites prevent Satan from having any of the appeal of classics like Blood Money. If you ever met the villain of this game in a dark alley, you'd probably rob him blind.

Mark Higham

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